Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.928 – Leonard’s Puzzled by Rustic

Posted by Mister Sting on August 28th, 2010

Mister Sting.

A smaller grid this week – only 121 blank squares, instead of the normal 169. Will this translate into a shorter solving time?

The preamble offers a slight cause for concern – if the quotation has affected itself, one may end up in the Catch 22 of requiring the solution to find the question, as it were. Furthermore, the quotation running around the edge leaves a number of ‘headless’ clues, which can be more challenging to solve.

Fortunately, these possibilities did not come to pass and the solution presented itself without undue… effort. Unfortunately, there were several incorrectly-indicated lengths (1 , 5, 6 and 11 down). However, given that lengths related to grid entries, this wasn’t a serious problem.

19ac was a clear opener. The obvious fodder would have suggested that a letter was missing even had one been unable to solve the anagram. But which letter? Assuming that it has to be one of the letters that only appears once, that still leaves TBAPUH.

8ac, 12 ac, 3dn and 16dn provided confirmation of the missing letter device and, more importantly, pointed conclusively toward the letter T.

Every answer, it therefore appeared, was lacking a letter T (or, as it latterly turned out, more than one). The compact nature of the grid reduced the possibility for blank areas and it began to fill up pleasantly rapidly. The remaining challenge, of course, was to identify the quotation. Given that T was most likely to stand for time and that it was being removed, there was a strong contender. Lo! and, indeed, behold! The outer wall of the puzzle reads:


The title indicates an anagram (PUZZLED) of LEONARD, namely LADRONE (thief). Thanks to nmsindy, who has pointed out that it’s also “Leonard’s puzzle” as Rustic is a pseudonym of James Leonard.

Although lighter fare than some enjoy, there was enjoyment to be had. There was some crafty misdirection in 4dn, seeming (to me at least) to offer ‘istle’ as fodder, rather than as the definition. 11dn tickled my immaturity. Altogether, a not unenjoyable mini-EV. Time not so much stolen as willingly given up.

XXX* = anagram
(xxx) = definition
{xxx} = (anagram/homophone/container) indicator
< = reversal
xxx = unused letter(s)
TEAPOY = ‘stolen’ t(ime)

8 TEAPOY Caddy finds ball in peaty ground (5) caddy: ins. of O (ball) in PEATY* {ground}
9 MELILOT Clover honey I get a large quantity (6) clover: MEL (honey) + I + LOT (large quantity)
10 GETA Discern an eastern sandal (3) eastern sandal: GET (discern) + A (an)
12 INNIT Eskimo language lacks socially acceptable informal question (4) informal question: INNuIT (Eskimo language) {lacks U (socially acceptable)}
13 REDUIT Revolutionary left queen out in part of fortifications (5) part of fortifications: RED (revolutionary) + qUIT (left) {Q (queen) out}
14 TUAREG Nomad starts to travel up shifting sand dunes (5) nomad: T(ravel) U(p) {starts to} + AREG (shifting sand dunes; sing. ERG)
18 COST Price of ancient seashore (3) dd: price/seashore (obs.)
19 TOBACCO POUCH Curious cocoa botch up – it may be needed by smoker (11, 2 words) it may be needed by smoker: COCOABOTCHUP* {curious}
21 YATE Spenser’s passage from yard to back of garage (3) Spenser’s passage: Y (yard) + AT (to) + E (back of garagE)
22 PICKET Choose east when sent out as patrol… (5) patrol: PICK (choose) + EasT {AS (when) sent out}
23 SECANT …sent round about cutting (5) cutting: ins. {round} of CA (about) in SENT
26 ITALA Some prohibit a latin version of the bible (4) version of the bible: prohibITALAtin
29 YETI Hitherto one has not been photographed (3) &lit: YET (hitherto) + I (one)
30 REBATER He gives a discount on Will’s stiff collar (6) dd: he gives a discount on/Will[iam Shakespeare]’s stiff collar
31 TUMBLE Trip missing top of step and fall (5) fall: sTUMBLE (trip) {missing S (top of Step)}
1 RATED Scolded drunk after losing it once (4) scolded: RATtED (drunk) {losing one T (it once)}
2 COTTON Yarn attaching weight under small boat (4) yarn: COT (small boat) + TON (weight)
3 TRYING Testing binding round tip of rod (5) testing: ins. {round} of R (tip of Rod) in TYING (binding)
4 TAMPICO FIBRE Istle’s startling impact on blaze in barrel. Just the opposite (11, 2 words) istle: IMPACT* {startling} + O (on) + ins. of B (barrel) in FIRE (blaze)
5 SETTER-UP He arranges to dine outside Kettering when king’s gone (6, hyphenated) he arranges: ins. {outside} of kETTERing {Kettering when king’s gone} in SUP (to dine)
6 TILDE Stress flow round lake (4) stress: ins. {round} of L (lake) in flow (TIDE)
7 NITID Something in nest is shining (4) shining: ins. of IT (something) in NID (pheasant’s nest)
11 BUTTOCK Large cask’s alright to hold cold silverside, perhaps (5) silverside, perhaps: BUTT (large cask) + ins. {to hold} of C (cold) in OK (alright)
15 ABATES Shakespearean excepts one author and playwright (5) excepts (Shakespearean): A (one) + (H.E.) BATES (author and playwright)
16 TECH Instruct American leaving college (3) college: TEaCH (instruct) {A (American) leaving}
17 ROTI Decay in Indian sandwich (3) Indian sandwich: ROT (decay) + I (in)
20 CONCEPT Idea of penny-bun in unfinished short story (6) idea: ins. of CEP (boletus edulis or penny-bun) in CONTe {unfinished} (short story)
22 PACTUM Agreement to include Australian in politically correct corporation (5) agreement: ins. of A (Australian) in PC (politically correct) + TUM (corporation)
24 CABOT About a vessel without a navigator (4) navigator: C (about) A BOaT (vessel) {without a}
25 APART Separate active constituent (4) separate: A (active) + PART (constituent)
27 LIMIT I am entering settled region (4) region: E(nergy) + NEW (restored)
28 HELOT Male confused without special serf (4) serf: HE (male) + LOsT (confused) {without S (special)}

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No.928 – Leonard’s Puzzled by Rustic”

  1. nmsindy says:

    It’s also “Leonard’s puzzle” as Rustic is a pseudonym of James Leonard.

  2. Jake says:

    I rather liked this, Rustic has a talent signature for his letter changes, this time all the T’s were stolen! Not to hard I must admit but rather OK for an afternoon solve.

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